Geology Optional -UPSC IFS Examination- Detailed booklist and References.

Geology optional – many fear to take this subject in hand solely because of lack of proper guidance and books. I too started like every aspirant with some fear in mind.But with time progress , I fell in love with geology . Those fossils ,rocks and hydrogeological structures amazed me. I enjoyed reading it. As a result I have scored All India 3rd highest score and became Tamil Nadu topper in Geology.(So,You can Trust me)

Since, there will be two months gap between Civils mains and IFS mains there will be a good bunch of people taking geology and forestry as optional.So it is necessary to read in detail to be in good ranks.

Keep in mind:

  • Sit and analyse the syllabus
  • See the trend
  • Look at frequently asked questions.

As per the inputs given by my seniors and by my own experience following can be recognised.
Easy units:

Paper 1

Sec A

  • General Geology
  • Geomorphology and Remote sensing

Sec B

  • Paleontology
  • Hydro geology and Engineering Geology

Paper 2:
Sec A

  • Sedimentary rocks

Sec B

  • Economic geology
  • Geochemistry and Environmental Geology
  • Mining geology

Relatively difficult units:

Paper 1

Sec A

  • Structural Geology

Sec B

  • Startigraphy and Geology of India

Paper 2:
Sec A

  • Mineralogy
  • Igneous and metamorphic Petrology

Sec B

  • All are easy

Till 2016 IFS mains was before Civils Mains.So, relatively the competition was less as many feared to take three optionals (two in IFS and one in Civils ) at same time.Now the time has changed.2017 there was one month gap, now there will be two month gap.So you dont have privilige of reading only easier part and leaving the rest to god. So be ready to prepare everything.

Book list:

Paper 1:

Sec A:

  1. General Geology – Savindra Singh Physical geography – Geomorphology lesson – Around 10 units. (Check syllabus – subtopics and do selective read) or KM Bhangar will be suffice (but too comprehensive)
  2. Geomorphology and Remote sensing – Savindra singh Physical geography -Geomorphology lesson – Around 10 units (anyways u caught here…. 🙂 )

Sub topics:

  • For remote sensing ,The Electromagnetic Spectrum , Applications of remote sensing in geology.The Geographic Information System and its applications. Global Positioning System. – Indian Forestry by Manikandan and Prabhu would be suffice – Chapter 1.
  • Orbiting satellites and sensor systems.Indian Remote Sensing Satellites – You have to prepare on your own by searching internet.

3. Structural Geology – Strutural geology by Marland p Billings.

Sub topics :

  • Superposed deformation – A textbook of geology Mahapatra
  • .Introduction to petrofabrics – Read in net

Sec B:

  1. Paleontology – KM Bhangar and Mahapatra

Sub topics:

  • Application of microfossils in correlation, petroleum exploration, paleo-climatic and pale oceanographic studies – Prepare from net
  • evolutionary trend – Not present in Bhangar and Mahapatra – search in net and take notes
  • Evolutionary trend in Hominidae, Equidae and Probo-scidae – Search in net
  • Siwalik fauna – Search in net.

2. Stratigraphy and Geology of India – KM Bangar
Sub topic:

  • Tectonic framework of India. Evolution of the Himalayas. – Savindra Sing Physical Geography

3.Hydogeology and Engineering Geology – KM Bhangar and There is a telegram group for geology books – search there by putting sub topics of this unit.

Sub topics:

  • Alkali-aggregate reaction – Search in net
  • Landslides causes, prevention and rehabilitation – Savindra singh Physical geography

Paper 2:

Sec A:

  1. Mineralogy – KM Bhangar

2. Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology – KM Bhangar

Sub topics:

  • Crystallisation of albite-anorthite, diopside-anorthite and diopsidewollastonite- silica systems – internet
  • ACF and AKF diagrams – Internet

3. Sedimentology – KM Bhangar

  • Heavy minerals and their significance. Sedimentary basins of India – Internet

Sec B

1. Economic Geology – KM Bhangar

Sub topics:

  • . Conservation and utilization of mineral resources. Marine mineral resources and Law of Sea – Internet

2.Mining geology – Methods of prospecting – KM Bhangar – Biological and Chemical prospecting – Internet


  • Estimation of reserves of ore, Methods of exploration and mining metalic ores, industrial minerals and marine mineral resources. Mineral beneficiation and ore dressing. – Internet

3.Geochemistry and Environmental Geology – Internet , 12th STD TamilNadu Chemistry book for crystals , Savindra singh physical geo for Volcanoes etc…

Some tips:

  • Yes you need to mug up a lot but most of the time static portion is asked as a result you can get good marks when you vomit there.
  • If you leave sub topics you cannot score – because UPSC started to ask some questions that are not in general books like KM Bhangar . Eg: Petrofabrics. So dont leave any word in syllabus.
  • By just knowing basics of each word in syllabus you can get good marks in Geology as they are asking “What is ….” kind of questions.
  • Before starting a unit – sit and read subtopics and collect material and then start reading.

PS: There is lot of internet reference I have put there. I have some materials but I cannot post it here as it may amount to copyright violation.

If you want it mail me : Will share it via google drive. First search in my docs before searching on internet. Because you might find most in my docs itself. I don’t have time to edit all my docs – may be I have put some funny things to remember in the exam in my notes (leave it – we need some fun right ?).

“Humanity is giving hands to others and let them not to experience those suffering that you have faced”

All the best.

33 Responses to “Geology Optional -UPSC IFS Examination- Detailed booklist and References.”
  1. Sreedhar says:

    Thanks for the guidance brother.

  2. Kishorekumar B R says:

    Thanks bro

  3. Tamil says:

    Bro geology materials needed bro… mail.

  4. DHILIPAN says:

    Thanks a lot brother…

  5. DHILIPAN says:

    Thanks a lot brother…

  6. Yasar Arafath A says:

    Bro kindly share those materials with me. My mail id is

  7. aditya singh says:

    sir please mail me your geology notes

  8. aditya singh says:

    sir please mail me your geology notes

  9. PSC Result 2019 says:

    Get PSC Result 2019

  10. Vincy Rachel Varghese says:

    Great work with this detailed article. Thanks a lot for taking your time for clearing our doubts

    • sahil goyal says:

      An article worth the reading. U know I got to know about your blog for around a month. My optional Geology was almost final. I din’t read a single article related to geology as an optional because i knew when I will be serious, i will be reading that. Tk tk i was just looking around.

      And today when I read this, M feeling like there is somebody guiding me. Love you for this article. I hvnt started optional yet but i believe i will sail through with such articles and guidance.

    • All the best Vincy

  11. Ashutosh S says:

    “Humanity is giving hands to others and let them not to experience those suffering that you have faced”
    U won my heart by these words,sir.

  12. Ashutosh S says:

    Sir, kindly share those materials with me at my email id

  13. Sri Lakshmi S says:

    Hi Sir,
    I have mailed you for the google drive link for sources. Please reply,

  14. Praveen says:

    Hello Anna,
    First, I Thank you for making us aware of the job profile and opportunities in IFS, which helped me to change my focus towards to IFS.
    And I request you to send me your geological notes for reference.
    -Thank you

  15. Jagathish says:

    Dear Sir,

    I am a Computer Science Graduate. I wanted to try for IFS and when I came through the syllabus of Optional subjects, I decided to go with Forestry and Geology. 

    Your article is very helpful.

    When it comes to Geology, many have said that it has less coaching and less availability of materials. Is it true sir?

  16. Neelu says:

    your article is very helpful.
    kindly share those materials with me at my email id– have mailed you for the google drive link for sources. thank you.

  17. Kokilaa C L says:

    Seriously spr anna..
    Optinal pakakdhan vandhen aana ifos na enaanu clear ah thyrinjuten

    Thanks anna thanks a lot!

  18. Vignesh C says:

    Hi Anna,

    I have been following u since ur interview in “IAS by Heart”. I got a clear-cut idea only after referencing your website and this made me only focus on clearing UPSC as a Forest Service officer.

    Thanks for sharing your experience and syllabus dissect that to in a simple way which may have taken more time to understand for me abt optional for IFoS…

    Hope I use these resources effectively and clear the exam, will meet u!

    Mail me ur notes –

  19. Vaibhav Shyam Hatwar says:

    Sir, Please check your email
    kindly provide the study material(Geology) you have reffered.

  20. HK Das says:

    Thank you so much sir for your guidance. Your article have been of great help.

  21. sachin says:

    Sir please mail notes
    Thanks for your help

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  1. […] Geology Optional -UPSC IFS Examination- Detailed booklist and References. […]

  2. […] was originally published in Vejayanantham blog. Visit blog to know more and get materials.  Follow his Instagram page at […]

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